SEO 101: The Best SEO Plug-Ins You Can Use On WordPress

There are over 1,500 plugins on WordPress that promise to help your page with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). But dig in to the world of WordPress SEO plugins, and you’ll soon find that without some basic guidelines, finding what is ideal for your site can be its own part-time job.
Luckily you don’t have to dig too deep to find the best SEO plugins for your site because we’ve put together this handy list of the top five WordPress plugins for SEO. And perhaps best of all, they are 100% completely free.

  1. WordPress SEO by Yoast

Downloads: over 15 million
Rated: 4.7 out of 5 stars
Last Updated: February 2015
This plugin is a favourite among WordPress users, probably because of all the functionality it offers. At first it can seem overwhelming, especially to first-time users who might not be very experienced when it comes to SEO. Thankfully the team’s how-to guides and documentation are easy to read and readily available through the plugin interface.

  1. All in One SEO Pack

Downloads: over 21 million
Rated: 3.9 out of 5 stars
Last Updated: January 2015
Ask ten WordPress experts which SEO plugin they thinks is best – four will say the Yoast plugin, another four will say the All in One SEO Pack. Two of those experts will say both. As pointed out by the folks at Elegant Themes, there aren’t any real advantages to choosing one plugin over the other, it’s strictly a matter of preference.

  1. SEO by Squirrly

Downloads: over 800 thousand
Rated: 4 out of 5 stars
Last Updated: February 2015
With just over 800 thousand downloads, it might seem a lousy comparison against the first two options. But SEO by Squirrly is unique in that it helps non-SEO-experts find the best keywords to write content that is SEO-friendly. Best of all it plays well with Yoast and All in One SEO.

  1. Google XML Sitemaps

Downloads: over 16 million
Rated 4.5 stars
Last Updated: November 2014
Yoast and All in One SEO both allow you to create an XML sitemap (a file that helps search engines crawl and index your site). The Google XML Sitemaps plugin gives you some more control over your sitemap. Other than that, if you choose to go with either the Yoast or All in One SEO plugins, this can be generated for you in a few clicks!

  1.  NextGEN Facebook – Advanced Social SEO for Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter & More

Downloads: over 1.2 million
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Last Updated: February 2015
This plugin allows you to edit and fully customize how your posts are shared across major social media networks.
On a basic level, the most trustworthy plugins have the highest number of downloads, are updated frequently, have mostly positive reviews (you can’t please everyone!) and the plugin developers are helpful and quick to respond to any issues.
However that doesn’t mean the plugin will be best for your site. There are plugins to optimize SEO for images and video. There are premium SEO plugins that come with personalized support and of course, new plugins that promise to be the best are being published nearly every day.
The best way to find a solution is to try the different plugins to see what works for your site. Checking the comments left in the reviews of a plugin will give you a good idea of what the plugin is like and how much support you can expect to receive. And doing a quick search for any reviews published on blogs is a good way to prepare yourself for what to expect.
If you want to learn more about Search Engine Optimization, check out this guide by the folks at MOZ: The Beginner’s Guide to SEO.